MMG to begin pre-extraction at Las Bambas despite copper rout
Weak copper prices, with the metal approaching a fresh five-year low early this week, have done nothing to discourage completion of MMG’s Las Bambas in Peru, one of the world’s biggest mines of the red metal.
According BNamericas (in Spanish), construction of the US$7bn massive project, acquired from Glencore (LON:GLEN) in August 2014, is going strong and MMG expects production at Ferrobamba, one of the four deposits that make up the operation, to start early next year.
Glencore had to sell the project or other assets by September in order to win China’s approval for its takeover of miner Xstrata in 2013, as Beijing feared the merged group would hold too much sway over global copper supply.
Construction of Las Bambas, capable of an output of more than 2 million tonnes in the first five years of its opening, was 80% complete at the end of 2014, and MMG expects that between $2.7 billion and $3.2 billion will have to be spent between August last year and when the first production of copper concentrate starts.